Transportation from the airport (or from Madrid) to
the meeting site
The meeting will be held at the residence hall "Casa E. San Jose" in El Escorial, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) Northwest from downtown Madrid, on the borderline of two twin towns: El Escorial (on the lower grouns) and San Lorenzo de El Escorial (on the higher grounds), an old historical town that features the impressive Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo. There is no clear separation line between the two places.
"Casa E. San José" is within the limits of the (lower) El Escorial city limits but exactly on the borderline between the two towns, located at the crossing of two avenues: Avenida de los Reyes Católicos (Number 12) and Avenida de Felipe II (pron. "Segundo" in Spanish). A large park "La Casita del Príncipe", enclosed by a stone wall, is almost next door.
For a printable map of the area, including the exact location and the bus and train stations, go to the Map page.
If you are willing to pay a higher price, you may want to take a cab. Otherwise, the train and the bus are rather inexpensive. In any case, you should have some cash ready with you.
Taxi cabs from the airport to El Escorial
A taxi from Barajas Airport may cost you roughly between 60 and 90 Euro, depending on the time of the day. The ride should last about 50-60 minutes, depending on the traffic. (There are special supplements for Sundays and holidays, for the night and early morning rides, for the luggage, and for leaving from the airports or train stations.) Or course, the charges are per ride, not per person, so sharing a ride with somebody will bring down the cost per person significantly. A cab from downtown Madrid to El Escorial should have a lower price.
The exact amounts of fares per kilometer and all supplements - both in Spanish and in English - should be posted on a label located in the back windows; the cab should also have a mandatory meter close to the dashboard and to the right of the driver; this meter should be turned on as soon as you have entered the vehicle and given your instructions to the driver. We recommend that you avoid taking cabs that do not have stickers posted in the back windows and meters in the front (such cabs can typically only be encountered at late night hours and may suppose a higher price).
There is no direct train or bus from the airport to El Escorial. However, there are other reasonable choices we can recommend.
How to get from the airport to downtown Madrid by metro. From the airport terminal T4, the subway (metro) station is on floor -1. If you are at any of the terminals T1, T2 or T3, the entrance to the underground can be found in the walkway connecting to the parking lot P2 at terminal T2. The subway is directly connected to the local train station (Cercanías) at Nuevos Ministerios. The pink-colored subway (metro) line 8 (Aeropuerto T4 - Nuevos Ministerios) connects the airport with downtown Madrid. The ride takes about 25 minutes.
Click here for an interactive subway system map (Metro de Madrid).
If you plan to go by bus to El Escorial, the best thing to do is to proceed by subway from Nuevos Ministerios (e.g., on line 6 - don´t get out of the subway, just change the line) to the Moncloa Station. The bus station at Moncloa is right above the metro trains. (This kind of combined bus & metro station at the same place is usually referred to as INTERCAMBIADOR in Spanish.)
How to get to El Escorial from Madrid by bus. There are buses running from Madrid to El Escorial on a regular basis. They leave from the Moncloa Station in downtown Madrid, near the Northwestern exit of town (highway A-6). Below the street level, the Moncloa station houses a subway (metro) station where lines 3 and 6 meet, as well as a bus station which serves as a base for many bus lines. Look for the bus number 661 which usually leaves from deck (DÁRSENA) No. 3. It runs on a scenic route through the town of Galpagar and departs from Madrid every 15 minutes, e.g. at 10:00, 10:15, 10:45, 11:00, etc., from 6 AM until 10:30 PM (22:30).
As you arrive on it, it should first enter the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. You will notice the Monastery from the distance. The bus will then continue uphill through a good part of the town. Once in Juan de Toledo Street, it will leave the Main Bus Station (a modern grey building) on the right, and on the left a gas station, a park and a classy yellow older building (Hotel "Victoria Palace"). After possibly making one more stop, it will approach the Monastery and then make a sharp left turn downhill into the avenue called Avenida de los Reyes Católicos. You will get a glimpse on your right of a large park "La Casita del Principe", surrounded by a stone wall. The bus will then soon make a stop; this is where you should get off and then walk about 50-100 meters downhill and cross to the left-hand side of the street - that is where "Casa San José" is! For a map, see the conference site map link. You can get a printable version at the bottom of the page.
Bus schedules will be posted here on Thu, June 4, 2009.
Bus 664 also goes to El Escorial but will leave you at the main bus station, near the Hotel Reina Victoria, which means that you'll need to walk the rest of your way downhill through Avenida de los Reyes Católicos for about 10-12 minutes.
How to get to El Escorial from Madrid by train. The local trains (colored in white and red, marked by - the symbols of "Cercanías") are modern, comfortable, and run on time. The entrance into each station is also marked by a pole or column which carries the same symbol. You need to buy a ticket before getting into the train area. A ticket can be bought either at a ticket window or at an automatic machine located near the window. One-way ticket is IDA in Spanish; two-way ticket is IDA Y VUELTA. At the machine you will have to mark your destination (DESTINO). Your ticket will be valid for an appropriate travelling zone or up to a certain destination and usually for about 24 hrs if it is a round-trip ticket.
One can take a train to El Escorial (Line C-8A; caution: do not take C-8B) from either of the following stations: Atocha, Nuevos Ministerios, or Chamartín. In case you are coming by subway from the airport, the best thing to do is go to Nuevos Ministerios and, once at the metro station there, switch to the train station with the same name without having to get out to the ground level. It will take you about 60 minutes to get to El Escorial from Nuevos Ministerios.
From the train station
in El Escorial to "Casa E. San José".
Once you have arrived at
El Escorial by train, in order to get to "Casa
E. San José" you should
either get a cab
or simply walk uphill from the train station (the walk should take about 10 minutes), leaving
on your right a children's playground, and then making a right turn
into the Avenida de los
Católicos (see printable map on the Map page).